Your Tahoe home: One size doesn’t always fit all (opinion) |

Your Tahoe home: One size doesn’t always fit all (opinion)

Yvonne Jacobs
Design at Altitude
This ski-in, ski-out home at Northstar, California, features bar stools properly heighted for the countertop. Bar stools are perfect for breakfast or for snack time.
Vance Fox Photography | Special to the Daily |

As interior designers, we love to celebrate good design. We get that everyone’s tastes, likes, dislikes and choices are different — and we love that! We want you to have a home you love, a home that speaks to you and that reflects your style. However, sometimes we see a few missteps that throw off the look, feel and flow of a home — we’re not talking about color schemes we don’t love; we’re talking about fundamental design elements that make the home feel off.

We’re a team of problem solvers and solution engineers. Luckily, most of the problems we see are easily remedied. If you’re embarking on a remodel or making changes, or simply feel like something just isn’t right in your home, then read on.


We love bar stools — they are perfect for breakfast or if there is a gaggle of kids at your house eating a snack. Did you ever slide onto a barstool only to find yourself either towering over the counter if they’re too high or reaching up uncomfortably if the stools are too low? Before you buy, measure your counter and make a note if you need counter height or bar height.

Quick and dirty tip: Counter height stools are between 24 and 29 inches; they fit counters that are 34 to 39 inches. A bar-height seat is 30 to 36 inches and works with bars that are 40 to 46 inches tall.


Art can be a bit problematic. We’re not worried about anyone’s taste here, but the height it’s hung. Oftentimes a client feels like something just isn’t right with their living room but can’t put a finger on it. If a piece of art is hung too high or too low, then it creates an imbalance.

An easy formula is to hang the piece of art so the center is 58-inches high – about eye level for most of us. If you have a wall of art, then keep the center of the pieces at 57 to 58 inches.

Size matters

Area rugs. We love them. They add a pop of color or a bit of neutrality to a room. But find the right size! First off, look at the size of your room and decide the layout.

In a large living room, the furniture should rest on the rug, allowing the furniture not to feel jammed in. If furniture is on the wall, then have the front two legs rest on the rug. For smaller living rooms, use a smaller area rug and have just the coffee table sit on it; the other furniture can be on the floor. Use similar guides for bedrooms and offices.

Now for the furniture that sits on top of the rug — go with the right scale or proportion. A huge recliner in a small space will inevitably feel out of place. Similarly, a tiny coffee table placed in the center of a large living room will look almost comical.

You want to have easy flow, too — you should be able to walk through without squeezing. Not everything has to be big or small. We created a room with a substantial sectional sofa and myriad smaller side tables, allowing for everyone to have a place to put their drink without stretching to the one large coffee table in the center of the room.

Finally, when you’re searching for the right pieces, don’t get hung up on making sure all the woods match. They should coordinate but they don’t have to be exactly the same style, color or finish. Mix it up and create a space that is as unique as you are.

Find what you love and it will work. We don’t advocate for a one-size-fits all. We love to see the unique and the special that makes your home perfect for you and your family.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She’s been designing homes for more than 20 years and works with all budgets and timelines.

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